39 Secretly Imprisoned by U.S.
By RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer
LONDON - A coalition of human rights groups has drawn up a list of 39
terror suspects it believes are being secretly imprisoned by U.S.
authorities and published their names in a report released Thursday.
Information about the so-called "ghost detainees" was gleaned from
interviews with former prisoners and officials in the U.S., Pakistan,
Afghanistan, and Yemen, according to Amnesty International, Human
Rights Watch, and four other groups.
"What we're asking is where are these 39 people now, and what's
happened to them since they 'disappeared'?" Joanne Mariner of Human
Rights Watch said in a statement.
CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said "there's a lot of myth outside
government when it comes to the CIA and the fight against terror."
"The plain truth is that we act in strict accord with American law,
and that our counter terror initiatives which are subject to careful
review and oversight have been very effective in disrupting plots
and saving lives," Gimigliano said. "The United States does not
conduct or condone torture."
Information on the purported missing detainees was, in some cases,
incomplete, the report acknowledged. Some detainees had been added to
the list because Marwan Jabour, an Islamic militant who claims to have
spent two years in CIA custody, remembered being shown photos of them
during interrogations, it said. Others were identified only by their
first or last names, like "al-Rubaia," who was added to the list after
a fellow inmate reported seeing the name scribbled onto the wall of
But information for at least 21 of the detainees had been confirmed by
two or more independent sources, said Anne Fitzgerald, a senior
adviser for Amnesty International.
President Bush acknowledged the existence of secret detention centers
in September 2006, but said that the prisons were then empty. Bush
said 14 terrorism suspects that the CIA had been holding, including a
mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, had
been transferred to military custody at Guantanamo Bay for trials.
Fitzgerald said she wasn't convinced that the sites were ever emptied,
and claimed a program of secret detentions was ongoing. "We wanted
(the detainees') names in the public eye because of the impression
that this is over, this is finished, and they're not doing this
anymore," Fitzgerald said. "That's clearly not the case." Detainees on
the list include Hassan Ghul and Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Faqasi
al-Ghamdi, who were both named in the 9-11 Commission report as
Another is Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, a jihadist ideologue named as one
of the FBI's "Most Wanted Terrorists." U.S. officials have confirmed
that Nasar was seized in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta in
November 2005, and the activists' report said that he was taken into
U.S. custody after his arrest, citing unnamed Pakistani officials. His
current location is unknown.
Also missing is Mohammed Omar Abdel-Rahman, the son of the Omar
Abdel-Rahman, the "Blind Sheik" behind the first plot against the
World Trade Center in New York, the report said. Most of the 35 other
detainees mentioned in the report have been previously identified,
with the exception of four Libyans, alleged members of the
al-Qaida-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. The report says they
were handed to U.S. authorities and have not been heard from since.
The four other groups involved in drafting the report were the Center
for Constitutional Rights in New York, the Center for Human Rights and
Global Justice at New York University's School of Law, and Reprieve
and Cageprisoners both London-based rights groups.
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